Hiring commission only sales people

Profile picture of the author Jays80 by Jays80 Posted: 01/15/2011
Warriors,

"Commission only" sales reps.

Do they exist?
What is the starting point to search them?
Any pointers in this regard?

I have had not so good experience with hourly sales reps.


thanks
Jay
#commission #hiring #people #sales

  • Profile picture of the author coach
    coach
    It takes a while to find someone with this level of confidence.

    What you're looking for is someone who is not going to depend on you for leads.

    I've had the best results with independent salespeople already selling to the market I want to reach. i start with a referral arrangement.

    Another approach is to offer a high commission on a lead-in service so they have immediate income. I also pay a small percentage on recurring customers with a bonus for reaching a certain level of new clients per month.

    An Observation: The biggest hurdle for most consultants is not enrolling the client but prospecting. The most important thing you can do is put a "pre-sales" process in place so you move the business owner from a postcard, letter or ad to a video to picking up the telephone to call you. The accelerator for me was that I specialized in working in a specific profession to start. Soon, I was regularly recommended by key influencers.

    Hope this helps.
  • Profile picture of the author MWGrubb58
    MWGrubb58
    I agree that you need to have someone already selling to business owners or, at least, someone who is not afraid to talk.

    My most recent hire has come from the local university. He's a 20 something guy who already has a business that he is working and wanted to add to his income via selling.

    I placed an ad in the career board at the university and regularly get calls. Everyone that calls knows it is commission only, so the calls are already pre-qualified.
  • Profile picture of the author myob
    myob
    The fastest way of course I have found is to just place help wanted ads for "sales reps" in major metropolitan newspapers with a short "experience required in ..." I get some hard-hitting sales pros from ads in USA Today, but it is very expensive.
  • Profile picture of the author Jays80
    Jays80
    thanks for inputs.

    Is there any other source to post it?
  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    Amir Luis
    Monster.com Career Builder.com

    The Local Newspapers.....

    The Weekly Free Press in your area...

    The list goes on....

    Also... you can use craigslist and backpage but the people you will find will be less than savory. Just my experience.

    The best thing to do... is Hired Hard... Manage Easy....


    So my thing is to make sure you have all the training materials and literature needed ready before posting any ads....

    Also... what was mentioned before about prospecting is KEY....

    You may want to hire prospectors first. Get you some telemarketers to call B2B and set you appointments. Run a few of the appointments and make sure they are solid appointments... Then hire closers to run the appointments....

    Finding quality people to do everything is somewhat trying at times. Unless you have a system in place.

    I give a LARGE portion of the initial sales and recurring off the backend to make sure that they will stay.... This can be a curse. Sometimes they will make enough money to sustain thier bills and beer money, then stop selling. Coast for the rest of the week.

    That is where being a motivational manager comes in REAL handy.

    If you are going to hire people because you want a hands free business... You better just do the sales yourself for a while. Document "standard operating procedures" for EVERYTHING. That way you can hand a "system" for everything over to someone and say... "Go".

    Even then, you will have some major headaches and pitfalls.... just not as many.

    Hiring, firing, and managing is a full time job in itself
  • Profile picture of the author aduttonater
    aduttonater
    Commission sales is tough to do, and discourages most from applying. The ideal candidate for a commission sales position would be comfortable with selling from their own leads. Also they would have a positive sales track record, with indication of future improvement.

    Sales professionals are always great to aquire, but be sure to compensate them honestly. Most professionals are looking for high or low commission sales, that convert well.
  • Profile picture of the author russells
    russells
    Hi,

    I've actually got 2 people working for me on commission.

    I found these two (and many more) on Craigslist and oDesk.com

    Good Luck!

    ~Russ
  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    rolltide
    Russ,
    How are your commission only salespeople working out for you?
  • Profile picture of the author MsMotivation1
    MsMotivation1
    I've tried to get commission only sales people before and had NO luck... even tho other people were reporting success with it. I thought I was doing something wrong... LOL. I'll probably try it again some day.
  • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
    Jay Rhome
    All the people I interviewed in November turned out to be unreliable or had other offerings, and basically, I lost time and got no one hired. And you know what? It still makes total sense to me to find at least one rep.

    I found out how much I'd make per call, postcard, etc, based in estimations but very thorough with it (I have previous experience in sales). Factoring time and money, the ROI on ONE 15-20 hour a week rep is very much worth it. It's worth "losing" aka "investing" 10-15 hours trying to find one (including interview and everything).

    I made a video explaining the job, what is expected, how much I'd pay etc. No BS, direct yet professional tone. The goal is to weed out bad candidates before they waste my time (in these tough economic times, many people are willing to "try" prospecting at your expense - not so with a commission income and a clear description of what's expected).

    Note: pay them WELL and fast. Give them a surprise bonus for the first sale, bonuses for volume, etc. On a commission based job, if the commission is not very high, forget it. You'll lose them in a hurry, that's if they ever try out in the first place. They should make AT LEAST $25-30 an hour if they perform decently, a lot more would be better.

    Even if it amounts to 30-40% commission for you, remember it's your foot in the door for that client, you might upsell them other services, get referrals (and you should!), etc. Much like in IM where they pay affiliates 50-75% on the front end and keep all the back end money, consider doing the same to attract and KEEP commission based reps.
  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    vndnbrgj
    Originally Posted by aduttonater View Post
    Commission sales is tough to do, and discourages most from applying. The ideal candidate for a commission sales position would be comfortable with selling from their own leads. Also they would have a positive sales track record, with indication of future improvement.

    Sales professionals are always great to aquire, but be sure to compensate them honestly. Most professionals are looking for high or low commission sales, that convert well.
    I don't agree with this. Commission only sales is tough to do if you are lazy.
    Also, the ideal candidate doesn't have to have a sales track record. Some of my best sales reps didn't come from a sales background. They just had experience working with people in general. You are looking for a people person, doesn't have to be a sales rep. Sales is about building relationships. People that are good at building relationships are great reps. They talk to people, not look at them like their next meal.
  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    Amir Luis
    I am on both sides of the fence with the last two posts....

    I have hired waiters that became top performing sales people.

    At the same time.... I have hired professional sales reps that outperform the waiters...

    It really all comes down to one thing.... Management.

    If you manage well... they will perform well.

    Training is a key part of management. I am currently setting up a series of training videos that I will make available to all of my reps. Phone or Outside sales. That way they can reference, and know what is expected. No stone unturned.

    Weekly sales meeting is not enough if you are doing a virtual team.

    Yellow book sales reps are all virtual as of the end of this year. But they still have an office for accountability. That way... when people aren't performing, they are tied to a desk for prospecting until they meet there goals. Almost like a form of punishment.

    Yellow book also gives thier reps $500 per month for office space allowance to make up for the expense of having a home office.

    I like this model.

    A lot...


    But if I don't manage well... it doesn't matter who I hire or where they office.

    Plain and simple.
  • Profile picture of the author Jays80
    Jays80
    Originally Posted by russells View Post
    Hi,

    I've actually got 2 people working for me on commission.

    I found these two (and many more) on Craigslist and oDesk.com

    Good Luck!

    ~Russ
    Russ,

    How are they doing?

    It's due to Odesk, I have lost faith in hourly billed sales guys.
    i would rather invest time in hiring 1 commission only guy instead of
    5 j******, who do nothing.
  • Profile picture of the author Jays80
    Jays80
    Originally Posted by Amir Luis View Post
    .....................

    But if I don't manage well... it doesn't matter who I hire or where they office.

    Plain and simple.
    Amir,

    Thanks for inputs.
  • Profile picture of the author mancmusicman
    mancmusicman
    I have been trying to hire 2 sales people. i have been advertising on gumtree (here in the UK) but it seems like an uphill task.

    Most of the time when i try to interview them it ends up like they are interviewing me..any tips?
  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    Amir Luis
    Take control of the conversation. It is about positioning.

    You are the one in charge. If they control and pace the conversation.... they are in charge.

    Stop it.

    They will always try and control your conversations from that point forward. It is actually a good thing that they know how to do that. Because that is what it takes in sales. You want to pace the conversation and be able to steer it towards the close. So them doing that is not necessarily a bad thing.

    What is not so good.

    Is if you can't keep up or maintain the pace yourself. If you are going to manage these people you will be the one in charge. Simply establishing dominance when someone tries to go this route will fix that.

    Even if you have to just come out and say....

    "Hey, Let me ask the questions here. I will leave some time when we are done if you have any questions."

    Another way... is to simply answer their questions then roll into a question of your own. And just keep firing the questions off. Don't let them take control. You are the boss. You are the one that is going to be signing the checks. It is YOUR decision that counts. Not theres. There are plenty of other sales people out there. If they don't like the way that you do business. There's the door.

    Straight and simple.

    The key in sales... "is to care, just not that much"

    What I mean by that is love the one your with. But if they want to play by their rules.

    They are done.

    This is your game. They play how you want to play or go home.
  • Profile picture of the author Voasi
    Voasi
    In my experience, you need to offer some base, even if it's just minimum wage. There's only a very select few that can live off of whatever ELSE they got going on while they build up their pipe line.

    And typically, what happens, is you become a "hiring manager" rather then running your business. Commission based people have NOTHING keeping them their but the hope of BIG COMMISSIONS so you get a lot of turnover. Which in-turn, makes you a hiring manager, continually trying to keep bodies in those seats, instead of doing what you should be doing as the owner of the company. Also, with all that turn-over, you also turn into a "training manager" too...teaching each new commission based rep "the ropes" and how it all works.

    Having said that, there is, of course, the exception - I've had commission based guys and in-fact, I have one right now. But he also has a side-business driving limos, so he's not full-time.

    If you're serious, pay someone a little base and train them to be an awesome sales rep for your company, then THAT PERSON can train new people and you can continue to do what's important... GROW YOUR BUSINESS.
  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    Amir Luis
    Agreed.... I share a lot of the same experiences and sentiment.

    At least for the moment I share the same sentiment.

    But... When you are first starting out and you don't have an office or place people can report to. Hiring commission only has it's advantages.

    You just have to be full aware of the disadvantages listed in Adams Post.
  • Profile picture of the author myob
    myob
    If you want quality sales reps, you have to advertise where they are looking. As I mentioned earlier, I advertise directly for "sales reps" in major metropolitan newspapers. There are some very high-powered sales people who are used to working straight commission, and these kind of caliber of sales people do not tend to look on Craigslist or any ragsheet. Even with that, you still are going to go through a lot of people to find the best. I have four commission-only outside sales reps, two commission only telemarketers, and some wage + commission appointment setters. Monster.com was mentioned also as a source for finding commission-only sales reps. That is where they are looking. Let them find you where they would expect you to be.
  • Profile picture of the author RichRecluse
    RichRecluse
    Originally Posted by Amir Luis View Post

    Training is a key part of management. I am currently setting up a series of training videos that I will make available to all of my reps. Phone or Outside sales. That way they can reference, and know what is expected. No stone unturned.
    Sounds like a great WSO. I'd be interested. Anyone else?

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